Join us in the city designed in 1967 for the future. Fifty years on, we look forward…

Get curious in your city, exploring through electrifying experiments, hands-on workshops and illuminating talks. Discover how we see the city, the world, understand our place in the universe, and how we can shape our future now.

Share your stories, ideas, and experiment with the latest technology to design the city of the future. Journey into deep space to explore the possibilities of life on other planets, discover the tiny creatures that are helping our investigations, and become an urban explorer, searching for the myths and legends of this young city.

Threshold Studios proudly presents a new commission by Artist Andy Gracie for Digitalis

 

You First Saw The Light On Such And Such A Day And Now You Are On Your Back In The Dark is based around the study of an Interplanetary Dust Particle (official name LAC3B_grain10), a fragment of comet measuring 50 microns (0.05mm) across, collected from the stratosphere by a NASA high altitude research aircraft in 1985. It currently resides in The Open University’s Planetary Science Research Facility.

This tiny object probably originated in interstellar dust clouds that witnessed the birth of the Sun, the formation of the planets, their moons, the asteroids and the multitude of rocks, dust clouds and objects that form our Solar System. 4.6 billion years ago, it would have accreted into a comet and commenced huge eccentric orbits of our star. As the Sun stripped material from the comet this fragment would have become detached and eventually trapped by Earth’s gravity.

The work consists of two parts:

4 channels of synchronised video made from hundreds of microscope images of LAC3B_grain10 focused at intervals of 1 or 2 microns, and from various angles.

An approximate replica of LAC3B_grain10 at roughly 100 times its size, hand carved from a piece of NWA8131, a 39.8g carbonaceous chondrite meteorite discovered in North West Africa in 2013.

Andy’s work has been possible thanks to the generosity of the School of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University. The artist would like to thank Simon Green and especially Queenie Chan for their support throughout the project.

What’s On

This season of digital adventures will reimagine the city through exciting arts experiences of all kinds. Expect electrifying experiments, intriguing exhibitions, hands-on workshops, creative talks and activities for all. Experience the Central Library and city through new eyes, exploring this Future City with Digitalis artists. Make, see, do, discover and more!

Exhibition

Milton Keynes was designed with the future in mind.  So much has happened since that time; the decline of British manufacturing, the rise of globalisation, the coming of the Internet and the digital age. Now Milton Keynes is fifty years old we have a chance to dream again. What might the next fifty years hold?

 

The five artists chosen for this year’s Digitalis worked with local residents to revisit and re-evaluate MK’s past, playfully re-imagining our role as citizens in the writing and the telling of its future story.

 

The Central Library exhibition trail remaps the city through our collective imaginations.

Workshops

Come and get curious… Make, see and do with Digitalis from May to August 2017. Workshops are available for all ages.

Imagine your favourite space or place in Milton Keynes however big or small…Got it?

Now think about how that space might look in 50 years time.

Come and create your own future space with creative producer Sophia Kyprianou using a variety of creative techniques including flip book drawing, stop animation, photography, film and sound.

Get inventive and explore how you can combine different artistic skills to step into your own space 50 years into the future, anything is possible!

Suitable for children aged 6+

Free. Drop in anytime between 12pm and 2pm. Please register your interest here.

Come along with your family and create your own Cuddly Audio babbling beasts!

Our talking cuddly creature will be one of the famous concrete cows of Milton Keynes and we’ll take players on an adventure around the library.

You will create your own the story, write it down, bring life to your characters and then trigger this story by placing markers in and around the library.

It will be udderly creative!

Suitable for families and children aged 7+

Book for the 10am-12pm session here.

Book for the 1.30pm-3.30pm session here.

 

Join artist and mythographer Phil Smith to creatively explore Milton Keynes in a new light!

Using books, stories and poems from MK Central library along with the streets and land around Milton Keynes you can create your own personalised storyline and map of the city.

Each storyline will then be added to the digital resource which will be available for others to use.

Suitable for 18+

Free. Book via Eventbrite here.

Come along and explore the world of Red Reveal!

Learn about hiding messages in images, creating your own secret messages using new creative techniques.

Unleash your inner spy!!

Suitable for families and children aged 5+

Free. This workshop is a drop in session, so feel free to come along throughout the day! Register your interest via Eventbrite here.

People place digital Mutations

Artists Exploring Senses invite the people of Milton Keynes to participate in a one day live ‘People Place Digital Mutations’ workshop. Your hand-built designs could become 3D printed sculptures for the future. Let’s celebrate 50 years of Milton Keynes and redesign its future together!

Suitable for families and children aged 8+

Free. Book via Eventbrite here.

Layered lands: Milton Keynes from the ground up

What is under your feet?

Urban Projections and Soap Box Science invite you to explore Milton Keynes from the ground upwards- literally!

Discover how science and digital art can come together and learn how to build your own live audio-visual mix, which will be all brought together turned into one huge mix to make the ‘sound of the city’!

Suitable for families and children aged 14+

Free – book via Eventbright here.

Out of nowhere

Come immerse yourself in an interactive environment, where your mind becomes the trigger for a camera to generate a unique self-portrait. Experience cutting-edge EEG technology that monitors our brain-wave activity

Suitable for families and children aged 13+

Free – book via Eventbright here.

Code your own drawing tools and explore a new way to create art!

Make colourful interactive art and share it with the world using digital, coding and other mysterious creative processes!

Suitable for ages 10+

Free – 12:00-1:30pm book via Eventbright here.

–  2- 3:30pm book via Eventbright here.

 

 

Create a new plan for Milton Keynes with Artist Ashley Brown, discover the future world of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and uncover how they might influence the way we build our future cities.  See how computers can now collaborate with you to create imaginative buildings from your most basic sketches!

Then see all your creations evolve into an visual installation to be displayed as part of the Digitalis exhibition in August.

Suitable for ages 7+

Free – book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

This introduction to the art of comic making explains the techniques and reveals how stories can be inspired by events in your own life.

Create a short comic strip, mixing fact and fiction from personal experiences to script your own original comic strip, structure a comic and design the characters.

Suitable for ages 11+

£2 – book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Work in small groups to create digital ‘Narrative Games’ otherwise known as ‘Interactive Fiction’.

Early computer games included classic text-adventure games such as ZORK.  ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, and more recently ‘Goosebumps’ books, copied the format, placing the reader in control of the story.

Create your own digital stories set right here in Milton Keynes’ past, present or future.

Suitable for ages 16+

Free – book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Milton Keynes was built as the ‘City of the Future’, but does it look the way we imagined it would 50 years ago? For this drop-in activity you are invited to visualise what Milton Keynes might be like in 2050.  We will search the Library’s books for images to make postcard and poster collages of your vision of MK2050, using the new high quality digital Risograph printers.

Suitable for ages 14+

£2 – book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

 

Create interactive objects with Ashley James Brown and using electronic input sensors and outputs and explore the idea of smart and playable cities. We will write code and take a look at hardware design, physical computing and creative connected possibilities.

There will be several Arduino computing kits available to use for the day, or you can buy your own from us to take home.  If you have one already, then bring it with you.

Suitable for ages 18+-  Laptop Required

£25 for whole session

£50 for session plus Aruduino starter kits & extras

book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Reveal the hidden stories of Milton Keynes and write some new ones, with The Mythographer, Phil Smith. See how the books you read can transform the landscapes you thought you knew.  Take photos, collect artefacts, record sounds to define your own Storyline journey through the city and remap the city.

Suitable for ages 16+

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Create your very own 2D animation in Minecraft with artist Gemma Latham. Compose your own music, using coding to program tempos and sounds!

Find out how binary data is used to store sounds and images digitally.

Suitable for ages 5+

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

 Suitable for ages 12+

It’s all a matter of scale!

There are 124 roundabouts in Milton Keynes. In a future of driverless cars and helicopter taxis what might we do to transform these traffic islands? Could they become urban farms, outdoor auditoria, digital libraries, running tracks, or even mini launch pads to space?

Let your design skills go crazy and help us create a future vision for Milton Keynes’ roundabouts! Together we can reimagine the city.

Watch your creations come to life as animated GIFs.

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Invent some new Mythological Creatures for Milton Keynes using illustration, design and creative coding.

We will teach you basic programming and design techniques to build your own animated monsters to make them come alive!

Suitable for ages 10+

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Invent some new Mythological Creatures for Milton Keynes using illustration, design and creative coding.

We will teach you basic programming and design techniques to build your own animated monsters to make them come alive!

Suitable for ages 10+

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Glitches happen when computer coding goes wrong.  But sometimes they can make interesting and fun images.  Explore the multiple possibilities of the glitch with artist Antonio Roberts to make new images of Milton Keynes from the digital errors you would normally try to avoid. Experiment with commonly used software to disrupt the city to make a new unpredictable Milton Keynes!

Suitable for ages 10+ Laptop required if possible

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

What do sounds look like? What do pictures sound like?

With the right equipment any drawing, any picture can become sound.  Create some visual spectrographs with artist Pete Ashton and become part of our collective “wall of sound” which anyone with a Smartphone can play back via their camera.

Suitable for ages 16+

Free- book via Eventbright here.

 

 

 

Talks

A series of talks will explore the themes across the season, with chances to meet the commissioned digital artists, and hear from other experts in the field.

Join Digitalis artist in residence Andy Gracie for his second talk as he discusses the complex relationships between art, DIY culture, maker culture and hobbyism reflected in artistic practice past and present.

This event is free but booking is advised.

Book via Eventbrite here.

Meet artist, mythographer, writer and ambulatory researcher, Phil Smith as he shares his progression from theatre to site-specific performance as well as his interest in walking and mythogeography.

Also discover how he has been working within Milton Keynes, some of the work he has already created for Milton Keynes and how you can get involved.

Free. Book via Eventbrite here.

An opportunity to talk in more depth to Ashley James Brown about his work and his fascination for the technology that drives it.

Learn more about the work he is doing for Digitalis in Milton Keynes, the themes behind the works and how you can get involved.

Suitable for ages 16+

Free. Book via Eventbrite here.